Tomorrow I start my new position as affiliate faculty for one of the college of nursing programs. That’s a fancy name for a clinical instructor. I am pretty excited about it, but at the same time I am pretty nervous. How the heck do I monitor seven students on two floors and ensure they don’t hurt or kill somebody? What do I do when they ask me a question and I don’t know the answer (that will probably happen more than anything else)? When will I have time to eat and pee?
I am sure that things will run very smoothly, I have basically been handling this like I would with a new group of employees. I set out my expectations and my rules before we even start and then hold them to those. I think if they know what they can and can’t do with me while in the clinical setting then they will behave appropriately. They are all adults, so I am confident things will go smooth.
The biggest thing I worry about is when they ask me something I don’t know. I have been practicing saying “Well, why don’t you go look it up, then come back and tell me about it”, and then I will run, hide and look it up myself.
One thing I have learned over my years of nursing and as a manager is to just say “I don’t know.” I usually follow that up with an explanation of how I will go look it up, get the information and then come back with that information. I really want my students to learn to say that, instead of trying to do something that will put patient safety in jeopardy. I have seen many good nurses just give a medication or do a procedure that they didn’t know about and caused harm to a patient, and sometimes have caused them to lose their jobs.
I guess if I can get that lesson through to them, I will be doing pretty well.
Rob Cameron is currently a staff nurse in a level II trauma center. He has primarily been an ED nurse for most of his career, but he has also been a nurse manager for Surgical Trauma and Telemetry unit. He has worked in Med/Surg, Critical Care, Hospice, Rehab, an extremely busy cardiology clinic and pretty much anywhere he's been needed.
Prior to his career in nursing, Rob worked in healthcare finance and management. Rob feels this experience has given him a perspective on nursing that many never see. He loves nursing because of all the options he has within the field. He is currently a grad student working on an MSN in nursing leadership, and teaches clinicals at a local university.
Away from work, Rob spends all of his time with his wife and daughter. He enjoys cycling and Crossfit. He is a die hard NASCAR fan. Sundays you can find Rob watching the race with his daughter.
By Rob Cameron